India's foodgrain production is expected to be around last year's record level of 275.68 million tonnes despite deficient rains as well as floods in some parts of the country.
India’s foodgrain production is expected to be around last year’s record level of 275.68 million tonnes despite deficient rains as well as floods in some parts of the country. The government has fixed a target of 274.55 million tonnes for ongoing 2017-18 crop year (July-June) which is generally conservative. “We have achieved record production of 275.68 million tonnes in 2016-17. We are going to repeat this performance this year,” Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said at a rabi conference that chalked out a strategy for winter-sown crops. Southwest monsoon, which is key to kharif crops, has been “more or less normal except few pockets.” The situation in parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Peninsular India, which witnessed less rain, has improved in last two weeks. “We are hopeful so called deficit is corrected in the coming days,” he added.
Kharif crops like paddy and pulses have been sown in 104.91 million tonnes so far and there is shortfall of 80,000 hectare from the year-ago period. “I am certain this will be covered in the coming days,” he noted. Assam, Bihar, Gujarat and Rajasthan witnessed floods, while parts of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu faced dry spell. According to the Met Department, southwest monsoon has been 6 per cent less till last week. It has projected heavy rains over coastal Karnataka, Kerala, central part of Maharashtra and Goa in the next two days.
For the current year, the Agriculture Ministry has fixed the target for rice output at 108.50 million tonnes, wheat at 97.50 million tonnes, pulses at 22.90 million tonnes and coarse cereals at 45.65 million tonnes. However the targets for wheat, rice and pulses have been kept lower than the actual production achieved last year. In case of coarse cereals, the target has been set 1.5 million tonnes higher than the last year’s production.